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With joyful pride her heart is great:
Her house, in all the land,
Holds Him who conies, foretold by fate,
With prophet-voice and hand.

True, he is poor and lowly born:
Her woman-soul is proud
To know and hail the coming morn
Before the eyeless crowd.

At her poor table will He eat?
He shall be served there
With honour and devotion meet
For any king that were.

'T is all she can; she does not fail;
Her holy place is his:
The place within the purple veil
In the great temple is.

But many crosses she must bear,
Straight plans are sideways bent;
Do all she can, things will not wear
The form of her intent.

With idle hands, by Him unsought,
Her sister sits at rest;
'Twere better sure she rose, and wrought
Some service for their guest.

She feels a wrong. The feeling grows,
As other cares invade:
Strong in her right, at last she goes
To claim her sister's aid.

Ah, Martha! one day thou like her,
Or here, or far beyond,
Will sit as still, lest, but to stir,
Should break the charmed bond.

George MacDonald